Broody hen...Do I move her?!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by tacraig07, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. tacraig07

    tacraig07 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 10, 2013
    We have a young hen that has gone broody! As excited as we are, we now have to figure out what to do! Do we need to move her? She is on top a hutch on a hay bail. The other chickens have access to her, but she's doing a good job at keeping them at bay. If we do move her, does she need a completely separate pen or just a nesting box of her own? She's been sitting for about 5 days now.
     
  2. Veer67

    Veer67 Chillin' With My Peeps

  3. auburn

    auburn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2012
    West Michigan
    Congratulations on your broody! Will she be hatching her eggs or will you do the old switcheroo?

    Everyone is a little different when it comes to broody separation. We usually let our broodies remain in whatever nest box they chose for 10 to fifteen days, then candle the eggs. If they're viable, we move her to a small kennel we have, nest and all. I feel it's best to do this around this time because the move will upset her a bit, and she'll need to readjust and decide if she's still willing to nest. I've heard of some hens stopping after a move but we've never had that problem.

    Once she's settled it's just the waiting game! Waiting to hear those little peeps. <3

    Some people never remove their broodies from the flock, or put them back with the flock about a week after hatching. A good broody can protect her chicks from the other chickens. As our girls are particularly cranky, we don't risk it, and keep mom and the chicks separated for two months or so. Worth noting that we've never had a problem with either rooster trying to go after a baby, but roosters can be a bit smarter, and seem to know better than to mess with mom. Hens get jealous though and will peck the babies and get in fights with mom.

    Since this is your hen's first time being broody I think moving her is probably best. :) Do you have any roosters? Gotta make sure those eggs are fertilized!

    Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    You are the only one who can decide whether or not to move her. Is she safe from predators where she is? Is she in the coop with the flock? If she's safe, and you're comfortable leaving her with the flock, you could leave her. I would mark the eggs, though, that she's been sitting on and check under her daily to remove any extras that may have appeared (sometimes another hen will get in the nest to lay an egg while the broody is taking her daily break). Many people just let the hens hatch within the flock, and don't have any problems. The broody is very protective the first few weeks, and when they're raised in the flock from day one, integration is not a problem. When they're separated for a period of time, integration can be a little trickier. Mom isn't as protective, and the other hens are more likely to give the young ones a rough time. If you should decide to move her, it works very well to do it at night. It seems to be less traumatic for the hen to wake up in a new place than to be moved during the day and getting all upset. In my setup, I can divide my coop into two pens. I like to separate them while they're setting, just to keep the other hens out of the nest. I kept them separate for a week or two, then let them mix with the flock. Mom was still protective enough to keep the other hens from being a problem. The reason I kept them separate is because I free range and have some wild barn cats that live in the barn near my coops. I figured the babies stood more of a chance of escaping harm when they were just a bit older. When I integrated the hens and chicks, there was no problem with the other hens pecking the babies or picking fights.
     
  5. tacraig07

    tacraig07 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 10, 2013
    Great advice! Thank you so much! We would love for her to hatch them out. My daughters are super excited. She's pretty safe in the coop with the flock but she is up high. I think we are going to move her just to be safe. We plan to baracade are her off in the coop so she's still with the flock but can get away if needed. Thanks so much! It's nice to have good trustworthy advice! :)
     

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